Adrienne Hayes: 40 Under 40 2012

GM, New York marketing, Edelman

Described by colleagues as a professional "who truly has it all," Adrienne Hayes is a highly successful PR champion for dozens of global brands. She helped eBay reinvent itself, launched a whole new snack-food category for Kraft, and got Microsoft into the music business.

One of her boldest campaigns – the launch of Trojan Condoms’ SexyTech range of condoms and sex toys – scooped a PRWeek Award in 2012 as Consumer Launch Campaign of the Year. The initiative was both challenging and fun, Hayes says, "because sex is used to sell everything but s-e-x, which is still a very taboo subject." Hence, the launch at an unexpected venue, the Consumer Electronics Show, where products were presented as revolutionary new "software for your hardware," "virus protection," and "wireless handheld devices."

"It elevated the conversation and made the subject more approachable," says Hayes. "The most satisfying thing about it was seeing hardcore technology reporters blush."

As GM of Edelman’s largest single practice, Hayes oversees more than 140 specialists in marketing, media, digital communications, and content. Before taking charge of the division, she spearheaded the development of theShopping & Socializing account group in New York, comprising like-minded brands with similar goals. Past and present clients include AOL, Pepsi, Burger King, Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Disney, and Gap.

Russell Dubner, president of Edelman’s New York office, describes Hayes as "the embodiment of PRWeek’s 40 Under 40 honor," adding that she has been a key player in her division’s more than 100% growth over the past five years. She is one of Edelman’s "most creative and brave thinkers," says Christina Smedley, former global chair of the consumer practice.

"Adrienne is passionate about the work we produce and clients value her strategic thoughtfulness and candid approach to their brand," she adds. "She raises the bar with the programming she and her teams deliver."

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